ABAWDs Release
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USDA to Restore Original Intent of SNAP: A Second Chance, Not A Way of Life

At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a proposed rule intended to move more able-bodied recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to self-sufficiency through the dignity of work. The rule is meant to restore the system to what it was meant to be: assistance through difficult times, not lifelong dependency. Over time, without any changes in the underlying welfare reform legislation of 1996, that ideal has been watered down by out-of-control administrative flexibility in SNAP.

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USDA Highlights Opportunities for Producers and Vendors

Earlier this week, a new USDA Foods vendor delivered 2,000 gallons of fresh milk to the D.C. Capital Area Food Bank. The delivery was one of many taking place at food banks across the country resulting from purchases made by the USDA to provide market support to the dairy industry.

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USDA Provides Hurricane Florence Victims Needed Relief and Recovery Aid

As Hurricane Florence approached, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use all available authorities to ensure the security and safety of those in the path of the storm, and to aid victims in their recovery efforts. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are actively responding, providing emergency response staffing and a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to residents, agricultural producers, and impacted communities at large.

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USDA Eases Program Rules for South Carolina SNAP Participants Impacted by Florence

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today granted flexibility to allow South Carolina residents to replace food purchased with SNAP benefits that was lost due to power outages and flooding caused by Hurricane Florence. Over 185,000 impacted households in 26 counties now have until Oct. 15, 2018 to report food loss to the state and request replacement benefits.

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Nominations now open for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

In coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the public call for nominations to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). The independent advisory committee will review the scientific evidence to help inform the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Secretaries Perdue and Azar will consider the scientific review as they oversee development of, and approve, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The deadline to submit nominations for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is October 6, 2018, at 11:59 pm, Eastern Time.

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USDA Proclaims National WIC Breastfeeding Week and Launches New Campaign

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today proclaimed Aug. 1-7 as National WIC Breastfeeding Week. Each year, National WIC Breastfeeding Week is held in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August to promote and support breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for a baby’s first year of life. 

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USDA Statement on SNAP Access at Farmers Markets

In response to the recent news about access to farmers markets for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Brandon Lipps offers the following statement:

" The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) was recently informed by a major provider of mobile EBT technology for farmers markets and farm stands that it will discontinue this service. With few providers in this marketplace, this is of great concern.

Farmers markets play an important role in providing Americans with access to nutritious foods. FNS is committed to encouraging farmers market participation in SNAP, to improve access for low income Americans while supporting economic opportunities for farmers and producers.

Since being notified of the provider’s decision to discontinue service, USDA has been exploring all available options in an attempt to avoid a service disruption. Our number one goal is to mitigate the impact on our program participants as well as farmers and producers."

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USDA Corrects Error Reporting Issues; Releases FY 2017 SNAP Payment Error Rates

For the first time in three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released new data on improper payments in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This data reflects an improved reporting process that will better enable USDA and its state partners to make informed, data-driven decisions to improve program integrity. The national SNAP benefit payment error rate – a measure of both overpayments and underpayments made by all states nationwide – in fiscal year 2017 was 6.3 percent. This is an apparent increase over the 3.66 percent reported for fiscal year 2014, believed to be largely the result of the improved measurement procedures implemented by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to improve the accuracy of the data, rather than an actual increase in improper payments.

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USDA Supports Local Foods in Schools through Farm to School Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) today announced $5.2 million in grant awards to bring nutritious, local foods into schools and create new economic opportunities for farmers. The grants, part of the USDA Farm to School Program, will impact over 6,000 schools and 2.8 million students nationwide.

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USDA Expands Focus on Program Integrity Across All Nutrition Programs

As part of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s strategic goal of ensuring that our programs are delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced an enhanced focus on program integrity today, that will include renewed attention on transparency, payment accuracy, fraud and waste prevention, and improved quality control.

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USDA Announces More Local Control for School Meal Operations

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Steve Censky today announced two new efforts to provide states and school districts with additional flexibility and support to operate more efficient school meal programs. Censky made the announcement during a speech at the School Nutrition Association Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

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USDA and HHS Announce New Step Toward Added Transparency in Development of 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a new step in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) development process. For the first time, the departments will seek public comments on the proposed priority topics and supporting scientific questions that will guide the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition of the DGA. The public may submit comments through the Federal Register; the comment period will be open from Feb. 28, 2018 to March 30, 2018. The topics, supporting scientific questions, and link to submit public comments will be available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.

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USDA Seeks Ideas to Help SNAP Participants Become Independent

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that it is looking for innovative ideas to promote work and self-sufficiency among able-bodied adults participating in the department’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 

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USDA ayuda con la recuperación de Puerto Rico mediante expansión temporal de Asistencia Nutricional

Los residentes de Puerto Rico que siguen recuperándose tras el impacto de los huracanes pudieran ser elegibles para mayor asistencia nutricional, gracias a una subvención del Departamento de Agricultura de EE. UU. (USDA). Esta asistencia temporal será distribuida a través del Programa de Asistencia Nutricional (PAN) de Puerto Rico, comenzando el 1 de marzo. El PAN es administrado por el USDA y operado por el Departamento de la Familia de Puerto Rico.

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USDA Supports Disaster Recovery with Temporary Expansion of Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance

Puerto Rico residents continuing to recover from the impacts of recent hurricanes could be eligible for increased nutrition assistance, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This temporary assistance will be distributed through the Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP), beginning March 1. NAP is administered by the USDA and is operated by the Puerto Rico Department of the Family.

The Communications Division coordinates public and media communications for the USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services mission area. For media inquiries, please contact FNSpress@usda.gov or 703-305-2281.